Happy Festivus!

Today is Festivus, a fake holiday introduced on the show Seinfeld that I’ve celebrated in jest for many years. In fact, up until 2013, I hosted an annual Festivus party involving feats of strength (a version of beer pong I invented that’s like beer pong meets 4-square), an aluminum pole, and the airing of grievances (funny pet peeves written on a whiteboard).

I wasn’t sure what to write about for Festivus 2021, but just a few hours ago I happened to have a very Larry David-like situation present itself to me–something straight out of Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm. I didn’t react to it the way Larry David would have, so it isn’t much of a story, but here’s what happened:

I was walking from my car to a little store that sells special dog treats (to buy a gift for a friend) when we passed a woman and her dog. The dog was in the process of depositing a large poop in the grass in front of an apartment building.

Normally when I see a dog doing this, its human companion is preparing a bag to scoop up the poop. But the woman was just standing there with the leash, urging the dog to hurry up. I looked back to see them walking away, and I said to Megan, “I don’t think she scooped the poop! Who does that?!”

A few minutes later, as we were looking through dog treats, the woman and her dog entered the store. This is where it really felt like an episode of Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm. I didn’t say anything, but I’m sure Larry David would have asked the woman why she hadn’t scooped the poop in an awkward but somewhat satisfying way. If you have a dog, you’ve entered a social contract saying that you’ll scoop the poop, not leave it for others to step on.

Also, a part of me held out hope that I was wrong. Perhaps the woman had indeed scooped the poop so swiftly that I missed it. So on our way back to the car, we took the same exact route, and I went directly to the spot where the dog had deposited its lunch. There it was, not 3 feet from the edge of the sidewalk, in a fairly busy area of town.

If I were a better person, I would have then scooped the poop myself with whatever I had handy. Larry David would have even returned it to the woman in the dog treat store. But I kept walking.

So this is my anticlimactic Festivus story of 2021. Do you have one? How would you have handled this situation?

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